Congressional investigators have now learned that an eyewitness account of the flooding from a federal emergency official reached the Homeland Security Department's headquarters starting at 9:27 p.m. the day before, and the White House itself at midnight.You know, this series of revelations about the White House knowing things much earlier than they claimed to reminds me of a certain day to which Il Duce so often refers. Gee, how could we have known Muslims would use airplanes as bombs? How could we have known water was washing away New Orleans? I'm surprised Bush™ isn't using Katrina as an excuse to grab more power. Oh, wait....
The Federal Emergency Management Agency official, Marty Bahamonde, first heard of a major levee breach Monday morning. By late Monday afternoon, Mr. Bahamonde had hitched a ride on a Coast Guard helicopter over the breach at the 17th Street Canal to confirm the extensive flooding. He then telephoned his report to FEMA headquarters in Washington, which notified the Homeland Security Department.
"FYI from FEMA," said an e-mail message from the agency's public affairs staff describing the helicopter flight, sent Monday night at 9:27 to the chief of staff of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and recently unearthed by investigators. Conditions, the message said, "are far more serious than media reports are currently reflecting. Finding extensive flooding and more stranded people than they had thought — also a number of fires."
Michael D. Brown, who was the director of FEMA until he resigned under pressure on Sept. 12, said in a telephone interview Thursday that he personally notified the White House of this news that night, though he declined to identify the official he spoke to.
UPDATE: I see Schroeder's also pushing for prison.
UPDATE: Pulling back a bit, Peter Daou sums up the present situation: bleak. Daou also reminds me of why I want to punch Alberto Gonzales.
COMING SOON: Recent pictures of the neighborhood right next to the 17th Street Canal breach, the one seen from the helicopter the evening of the storm--the one the White House was notified about.